Stop the sugar cravings!
I always ask my patients to give me a detailed description of not only what they eat but when they eat. It strikes me that far too often people eat very poorly at breakfast or don’t eat breakfast altogether.
Neither of these situations is ideal for your body or your brain, which both need to be fed on a regular basis. The average person eats dinner between 6 and 7 pm and goes to bed without a snack. They wake up between 7 and 8 am. This represents a twelve-hour period without food—which is great if you are going to take a fasting blood test to determine cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
The body wakes up due to a drop in melatonin (the sleep hormone) and a surge of cortisol (the stress hormone) that helps bring up your blood sugar level and mobilize you for action. However, shortly after waking up your cortisol levels begin to drop again, and it’s exactly at this point that your body is counting on you to provide it with fuel in preparation for the upcoming day.
Skipping breakfast is not a good weight loss strategy
If you don’t eat breakfast, or “break fast” as it was once called, then your body has to get calories from some other source, such as from your muscles. Muscle breakdown may occur. Skipping breakfast can also lead to a slight increase in insulin, because your body will be trying to move the sugar in your bloodstream into your cells, which is one of insulin’s roles. However, once you do finally get hungry and eat, the elevated insulin levels put you into storage mode. This means that the calories you do eat will likely be stored as fat. This is less likely to happen if you eat a healthy, balanced breakfast.
These statements cannot be overemphasized, and clinical research supports the disastrous effects of skipping breakfast. Harvard researchers found that people who eat breakfast have one half the risk of becoming obese and developing insulin resistance. The reason for this finding? It is probably safe to say that the person who eats breakfast is less likely to eat a disproportionately higher level of junky carbohydrates (dried cereals, rolls, doughnuts, etc.) when their blood sugar begins to drop.
If we think about skipping breakfast from an evolutionary model, where our ancestors were not always assured of a steady food supply, then skipping breakfast may activate a survival mechanism by which the body goes into storage or conservation of resources mode. In other words: No food? No problem! The body will slow down your metabolism and thereby keep your calories around longer, which will in turn keep weight on your body.
Less energy, less mental clarity
Basically, if we don’t feed our bodies and our cells don’t have the nutrients they need to carry out their functions, then our bodies stop working the way they should. You could think of it as the body going on “strike” or your cells doing a “work slowdown.” Quite literally, you will experience decreased performance. You won’t think as clearly and you won’t have as much energy.
Not only will your performance suffer, but you will gain weight, because the body will try to conserve what calories you are giving it. After all, your body knows what to do even if your mind tells you otherwise.
I like to start my day with OptiMetaboliX, FitFood Vegan, or FitFood Light Whey, three products that respectively give you a rice, pea, or whey protein source with over 21 grams of protein in each shake. The OptiMetaboliX has the added benefit of curbing desire for food in general and carbohydrates in particular.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you give your body the nutrients that it deserves … eat a healthy breakfast every day!
Let me know if you need more information about what breakfasts work for you. Call (516-609-0890) or send me a message via this website.
Yours in infinite wellness,
Dr. Garry D’Brant